Refugee Protection Division Practice Notice: Exchange of documents through Canada Post Connect

​​​Effective June 23​, 2020, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) will allow the exchange (i.e. receiving and sending) of documents electronically using Canada Post Connect.

This change in practice is being carried out in accordance with the RPD's Rules (Refugee Protection Division Rules), which permit documents to be provided by electronic means when allowed by the Division.

This practice notice provides important information regarding the exchange of documents between parties and the RPD. It updates and replaces the July 4, 2017 Notice regarding the submission of documents through Connect. Please review it carefully before using epost Connect™.

Who can send documents using Connect

This practice notice applies to all parties to an RPD proceeding. For the purpose of this notice, a party includes their counsel and any designated representative.

Use of Connect is voluntary. All parties to a proceeding continue to have the option of providing all documents to the RPD by one of the ways set out in the Division's Rules.

What cannot be done using Connect

General inquiries, applications or other requests submitted in the body of a Connect message will not be accepted. All documents must be submitted as an attachment.

For scheduling enquiries, parties should continue to contact the appropriate regional office.

The IRB is not allowing documents to be provided between parties through Connect unless both parties consent. Parties to a proceeding should continue to provide documents to each other by one of the ways set out in the Division's Rules. Please contact the Canada Border Services Agency or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada directly to obtain their contact information.

Documents that can be submitted to the RPD using Connect

Any document may be submitted electronically to the RPD using Connect, including:

  • ​RPD forms
  • Applications
  • Disclosure of documents
  • Written submissions

Where there is a requirement in the Division's Rules for an original document to be provided, the Division will accept the filing of a copy through Connect. Parties must keep the original until their proceeding has been finalized and at least 30 days after all appeal periods have expired.

Documents that the Division may send using Connect

Once a party has successfully registered for Connect, the RPD will consider their Connect address to fall within the definition of “contact information" in the RPD Rules.  The RPD may use epost Connect™ or the party's other contact information to provide documents. How a document will be provided is at the discretion of the Division. e​post Connect™ will only be used to provide documents classified as Protected B or lower.

If you previously signed up to send documents by Connect but do not wish to receive​ documents in that manner, you can change your contact information by notifying the RPD in writing.

Instructions for submitting documents by Connect

Registration process

To begin the Connect registration process to submit documents, you must first complete an online form and submit it to the corresponding regional office. Counsel who have previously registered to submit documents to the RPD using Connect do not need to register again. Counsel can use the already-existing conversation they have with the RPD to submit documents.

Once your completed online form is received, the IRB will contact you through a secure Connect ​conversation and you will be able to submit documents to the RPD. If you do not have an Connect account, you will be asked to register on the Canada Post website.

Do not wait until a document is due before completing the IRB's online form. The various time limits set out in the Division's Rules continue to apply. For this reason, please complete the online form to request a secure connection no later than two business days​ prior to the date on which the document that you wish to submit electronically is due. If you are not able to do so, you should provide the document in one of the ways set out in the Division's Rules and not through Connect.​

Parties may change their contact information, including consent to use Connect, at any time by notifying the Division in writing.

Submitting documents through secure Connect conversations

You may submit documents related to RPD claims and applications located in the same region using the same secure conversation. When submitting a document to the IRB through Connect, the message box should be left blank.

You must submit all documents in the form of PDF attachment. Please see the Instructions on how to submit documents through Connect to the RPD for more details on requirements for document submission.

Instructions for receiving documents by Connect

Registration process

If you wish to be eligible to receive documents from the Division through Connect, you must first register to submit documents to the IRB, following the process outlined above.

You may then submit a written request to any of t​he IRB regional offices indicating that you wish to receive documents from the IRB through Connect. Your request must include your full name and your role in a proceeding (for example, counsel, claimant or appellant), and it must follow the ​instructions on how to submit documents through Connect to the RPD. Parties who appear before the IRB on a regular basis only need to do this once.

After your written request is received, the IRB will communicate with you the next required steps to complete the registration process for receiving documents through Connect​.

Once the registration process is complete, a secure conversation may be established and you may receive documents from the Division through Connect.

Division's Rules continue to apply

Unless otherwise stated, the requirements set out in the Division's Rules continue to apply to the submission of documents using Connect (Refugee Protection Division Rules).​

When is a document received if submitted through Connect

A document provided electronically to the RPD is considered to be received at the date and time it is recorded as sent in eConnect.

How to get h​elp

If you are having technical problems with Connect, please contact Canada Post's support service at 1-877-376-1212.

If you have questions regarding this notice, please contact your regional office.​